Have use used the SQL Analysis Services? If you have some time, get the evaluation copy and try using the Excel Datamining Add-in to get started with seeing what you can put in and spit out. When you get your head wrapped around that, you should be able
to program against it or at least have a better understanding of what kind of problems can be solved with this class of tool.
If you like the Excel link to Analysis Service you are going to LOVE Project Gemini that will come in SQL Server 2008 R2